April 2, 2009

They don't want your apologies, Burners

You may have heard this story by now, I found it via Stuff White People Do myself but the comments from debunkingwhite make me feel so much better.

You absolutely have to read this story if you've ever cared about anything in the world:

Burners Torched Over Native Party

Some choice quotes:

Caapi said his team's hearts were in the right place and they did not intend to steal Indian culture. "I think everyone here and inside of our community at large know how poorly promoted this event was in its iconography, in its text, in the affiliations and implications. I think perhaps after tonight the intent will be recognized for the good heartedness it was and the absence of anything resembling cultural appropriation."

But for every apology, the group often inserted a foot into its mouth. Some Burners said they'd been trained by shamans to build altars, others sang racist childhood songs, or noted the lack of Native Americans at Burning Man (which occurs on an Indian reservation). Others asked for Indian help with their Burning Man projects, prompting a Hopi woman to go off.

"I'm trying to articulate my feelings as best I can without completely losing it," she said. "What we do is not an artistic expression. And you don't have artistic license to take little pieces here and there and do what you want with it. That's something you people don't understand, probably never will understand.

"Name your little villages whatever you want, but don't ever associate it with Native Americans. Call it the Crystal Ranch or something. Call it the Mars Ranch. If you want to be spiritual — go be a Druid or something."

That's pretty much it. I am not kidding you, I laughed out loud in real life. Sure it's cruel, but goddamn I hate over privileged fake-liberal white folks, especially when they REFUSE TO RECOGNIZE THIS. These Native American groups do not WANT your apology and from all looks of it, they don't care. They don't care about your tears because you didn't care about their anger. Now they're calling you to your face and you're sad? Go the fuck home.

Do you want to know why? Because in the end, you ultimately get it so incredibly wrong:

"Elaine" on Tribe.net writes: "Dude, don't kiss anymore ass! [Visionary Village] did nothing wrong in the first place. This whole thing is blown completely out of context and out of control. The public apologies shouldn't have to be made. Its not like the theme camp was screaming some Michael 'Kramer' Richard shit at the tribe. Sorry this is just ridiculous."

Anquoe says the non-party was a rare example of effective conflict resolution that is unique to the Bay Area, and he commends Caapi for their actions. Those bystanders who claim overreaction should reverse the situation.

"If Indian people put together a fund-raiser advertised to benefit the Catholic Church where we did our version of a Catholic Church ceremony and there wasn't actually a fund-raiser — you know what the reaction to it would be in the white community!?" he asked. "People would take legal actions against us, it would be crazy, it would be far beyond not having a party. As it is, these kids didn't get to have their party and they had to listen to Indian people being angry and that's about right for the injury they caused the Native community."

Caapi maintains that the fund-raiser for the Native American Church was genuine, and will be providing the names and phone numbers of the event's beneficiaries as soon as he can collect them all.

I'm not Native American. Well, not fully anyway, I do have some Native American blood. So I won't act like I speak for Cherokee or Blackfoot, or any repressed minority but myself. But this is the type of shit I think of whenever I see any half assed apology from the majority to a minority group, whether it be from Congress or Mrs Johnson down the street. You don't mean it and not only do you not mean it but you fully continue to BANK your rights to warp culture wherever you go and SEE NOTHING WRONG. You, Oh Privileged One, can't seem to wrap your head around ANGER at being kicked in the gut so many times and for what.

Shit like this is why I don't care or trust.

See, I started out laughing then I just got pissed. I can laugh again though, white kids crying over not being able to appropriate Native American culture? That's my shit.

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